This opus from Norway’s legendary TNT, XVII, starts off on a soft note, but the minute the vocals come in you get a pretty good idea of what to expect. I personally really like the fact this album feels like a progression of this 80’s glam unit finding their sound in a modern age, and adapting, though some may say it’s not as good because it isn’t stuck in the 80’s sonic space or resemble their old material as much. Baol is not trying to copy or mimic previous vocalist Harnell, which I think is great. The way I see it –they’re up to releasing album 13, they have pretty much earnt the license to do whatever the hell they want at this point in their vast careers, and with the lineup changes over the years, you have to expect everybody to bring something new to the band.
This progression is easy to see straight away with We’re Gonna Make It being such a hooky, uplifting song, laced with spoken quotes and shrill highs that prepare you for the guitar onslaught of the next track, Not Feeling Anything. The opening riff is strong and, this song sounds a lot darker than the first, in one part the drums and bass running the show while the vocals slowly creep up on you and send chills down your spine. Clocking in just over 2 minutes, I think this song could have been longer, but it was bringing more emotion to the record than the first track. I absolutely love the intro riff to Fair Warning. At this point I was still a bit sceptical of the album, and needed a bit more convincing, but the third track abolished that hesitation. I immediately wanted to keep listening to the rest of this album once this song kicked in. As the song goes on it slowly brings in more of that ear-splitting guitar work you’d expect from the Norwegian rock legends.
It’s Electric has quite a strange feel to it, lots of interesting choices in guitar tones, leads and overall song structure. In a way, it sounds like if Mike Patton wrote a Guns and Roses song. I know that’s kind of impossible to imagine, but maybe it makes sense when you hear the song. I’m not sure if I love this one, possibly will grow on me with some more listens, but hey, it gets attention, and it doesn’t follow the exact same formulas as a lot in the genre so on that note, it’s an interesting addition to the album.
Where You Belong is a pretty sad hard rock ballad, the first of many on this album. I personally loved this one and I could totally imagine this song being played at an 80’s hard rock bar, everyone in attendance with a perm, and the band in the corner crooning away…or crying drunk in the shower after a breakup. One for all the broken hearted, this one makes it on my rock ballad playlist for sure.
Can’t Breathe Anymore starts off with a much more glam sounding, almost synthpop style intro, with some guitars chugging away in the background as the synth takes the lead and the vocals really lead this song. This is a romantic, but edgy take on the earlier “rock lovesong” structure and this is definitely one of my top tracks. The solo at the end really just makes it, and is probably my favorite solo of the album because of how it sits in the epic build up. This is a song of passion and fire.
Starting with a chant of “are you ready for some hard rock?” and real Kiss vibe, Get Ready For Some Hard Rock is a hands down crowd favourite kind of song, and is obviously in there to be one of the big hype songs for a live show. You can just feel the energy coming through in this song, and this one I think is the most reminiscent of older TNT. Tears in My Eyes, well, that was almost an actual tearjerker, but an epic one. Another romantic hard rock ballad following the track Where You Belong and seeming to go down the same path. This song reminds me of a more glam and less depressed Sentenced or like, Daughtry but 50% more metal, and corny yet emotional somehow at the same time. The key change and shrill vocals towards the end is predictable but welcomed, and there’s no misunderstanding what they were going for with this song.
17th of May is the title of this one, which is a fun, playful rock song about the Norwegian Constitution Day. This is a song about celebration, party, individualism, and overall, just being proud of yourself, your country and your heritage. No matter what country you’re in, you need a song like this on your playlist, for the national day or any day of the week really. I’m listening to it on 18th of May, break the rules, who cares. This song has no expiry date.
Catch a Wave sounds almost like hard surf rock with a tinge of hair metal in there. A very mellow, easy going song, kind of made me feel like I was on holiday and cruising round the beach in a jeep when I’m at home in my cold study. They got the relaxed 80’s vibe down perfectly despite the lyrics at some points being somewhat dark and emotional, the overall sound of the song is really positive and easy to chill out to. Sunshine is an beautiful song, with soft acoustic guitars and a floaty, walking-on-clouds feel for the first 2 minutes before the percussion comes in and the guitars swell up to an epic chorus laden with guitar flourishes and delivered with conviction. I think this is the perfect closing track for the album, all in all.
The new TNT album is out now via Frontiers Music. Grab your copy HERE!